And then there was light.
It was 147 years ago that Morehouse College was established as a beacon of light for young black men thirsty for education. Created primarily to prepare black men for ministry and teaching, the college has evolved into a national phenomenon – an aspiration for young men all over and a foundation and home for leaders across the globe.
We’ve come so far; but, the struggle is perpetual. There is always a higher level of greatness to which to aspire.
When I first took office in 2010, I presented a six-year strategic plan that involved three stages: Re-engage our alumni; Re-build our organization; and Re-claim our position as a leading organization in the city of our alma mater, Atlanta and a shining example among HBCU alumni associations nationwide. I am proud to say that we are on a promising trajectory!
Here’s some of what we’ve done together:
- Reversed the trend of declining membership
- Increased the number of Life and Thousandaire members
- Launched the 300 Initiative, raising more than $100,000 over the past three years for seniors
- Increased level of student engagement
- Deactivated a number of inactive chapters to make way for new alumni leadership
- Partnered with local chapters to create a better homecoming experience for alums
- Instituted new chartering procedures and chapter standards for new and existing chapters
- Supported the growth of alumni affinity groups, including the Health Professional Alumni, the Morehouse Football Alumni, the newly formed Morehouse Men of the Bench and Bar, and the Morehouse Alumni Business Club
- Created a national partnership with Boys and Girls Cubs of America and began the pilot for what will become the Morehouse Alumni Mentoring Program
- Increased communication media and methods and embraced new technology
- Increased both the number of national corporate sponsors and their levels of sponsorship
In the final stage of this six-year strategy, we seek to reclaim our position as a leading organization and stakeholder of Morehouse. This will perhaps be our most successful (and our most challenging) stage.
We will depend on alumni more than ever to help us reclaim graduates who are not involved in the association and recruit young men to the College. We will depend upon alumni to increase their tangible show of support and give more; but, with those gifts we must also ensure accountability for the dollars we give. We will depend upon alumni to serve as mentors to our students and share their much-needed perspective and wisdom.
My greatest disappointment is the lack of collaboration and engagement with the College. This last stage will require closer collaboration with our College. I am optimistic about our ability to affect change at the College in its engagement with all alumni at all levels. New changes at the College in the area of Institutional Advancement (under which falls the College’s Alumni Relations arm) offer hope that a new directional change in the College’s collaboration with alumni is coming.
But only time will tell.
I look forward to finishing what we started — adding value to what our founders started 147 years ago.
Kevin R. McGee ’93
Are you a graduate of Morehouse College? Take a moment to join our strong, active Alumni Association. It's easy to join - click here to become a member.